Formed 2004 ... Herts 7s U14 Runners-up 2005 ... North Herts U14 team, Herts Youth Games 2005 runners-up (coached by Letchworth)... Herts Superteams U14 Runners-up 2005 ... Herts SuperTeams "Fairplay" winners 2006 ... Rochford 10s U17 Champions 2006 ... East Midlands 10s U17 Runners-up 2007 ... East Midlands 10s U17 "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... National 10s U17 5th place and "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... Herts 7s U17 Plate runners-up 2007 ... National 7s U17 Plate winners 2007 ... RFU "President's XV" Award winners 2007 ... Herts Superteams winners 2007 ... Midlands 10s U18 Runners-up 2008 ... National 10s U18 4th place 2008 ... North Herts U11 team, Herts Youth Games 2008 runners-up (coached by Letchworth girls) ... London and SE 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2008 ... Herts 7s U18s runners-up 2008 ... National 7s U18s quarter-finalists 2008 ... Gloucester City 10s U18 Bowl runner-up (6th) 2009 ... Worthing 10s U18 Plate runner-up 2009 ... National 7s U18 Plate winners 2009... Worthing 10s U15 Plate winners 2010... Worthing 10s U18 Shield winners 2010... Herts 7s U15 and U18 Bowl runners-up 2010... National 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2010...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Lies, damn lies, and... women's rugby data worldwide

Women's rugby continues to expand, it seems. In the past few days both Scotland and Ireland have announced growing numbers of players. Unfortunately Scotland have not published their new figures for women's rugby north of the border, but Ireland have and they make remarkable reading.

Apparently Irish women's and girls' rugby has, in only around four years, gone from just over 5,000 players to an astonishing 13,199. Astonishing not only because player numbers have more than doubled but also because this is more players than the RFU and RFUW claim for England! 

When you look at it in more detail, however, you find that 10,000 of these players are apparently Under 12s - though that is still pretty impressive as, if it is right, it means that Ireland has four times as many girls playing mini rugby than England have. Actually this is almost certainly wrong and the disparity will be due to clubs in England not registering their girl players properly - when registering everyone at Letchworth last year I noticed that if you are not careful the process tends to default to players being male, which means that there are probably a lot of "boys" out there playing rugby with names like Sophie and Alice. So you have to bear in mind how this data may be collected!

However even when you look at adult players Ireland are doing very well - close to 7% of Irish adult players are women. Although England boast three times as many players, overall only just over 3% of players are women. Admittedly both nations pale into insignificance compared with countries like the USA and Canada (where 25% of rugby players are women), Kazakhstan (over 40%), or the Cayman Islands (45%!).

For those of you into this sort of thing, a few more facts and figures (from data on the IRB website):
  • Women rugby players worldwide: 52,524 (6.6% of all players)
  • Teenage players worldwide: 55,717 (6.4% of all players)
  • Women and girls (all ages) worldwide: 175,485 (6% of all players)
  • Media coverage of women's and girls' rugby: As near 0% as makes no odds!
  • Most women players:
    1. USA (8,777)
    2. South Africa (8,450)
    3. England (6,000) [Gt Britain: 7,847]
    4. France (3,759)
    5. Canada (2,932)
    6. Ireland (1,799)

  • Most teenage players:
    1. South Africa (10,637)
    2. USA (7,994)
    3. England (3,794) [Gt Britain: 5,206]
    4. New Zealand (3,548)
    5. France (3,385)
    6. Ivory Coast (2,100)
Or if you enjoy playing around with spreadsheets try this.

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